Candidates debate for 9th district
The two candidates for the 9th congressional district met Tuesday night at Franklin College for the first of two debates and the only debate on a college campus.
The college is located in a newly-acquired area for the 9th district, which was redrawn in 2011. Back in 2010, the 9th district congressional debates took place in Jasper, Ind., and in Bloomington.
Democratic candidate Shelli Yoder and challenger incumbent Rep. Todd Young, R-9th District, talked about a variety of issues ranging from cap and trade policies to access to health care, but most topics centered around the economy.
In the black-curtained room, Yoder shone on the stage in a bright red blazer. Young sported a blue shirt. Their back and forth lasted 90 minutes without any major “horses and bayonets” moments. Often, the two fed off each other’s statements, with Yoder frequently referencing Young’s prior stances about issues or voting record, and Young defending his past actions.
Yoder said one of the biggest differentiations she made during the evening was about the topic of the deficit.
“There’s the importance of addressing and lessening the deficit but not on the backs of the middle class,” Young said.
Beth Boyce, a Young supporter and 9th District GOP vice chair, proudly sported a red, white and blue jeweled elephant broach.
Though not affiliated with the campaign, the Greenwood, Ind., resident wanted to show her support for Young. She said she particularly enjoyed his answer to the question about the nation’s biggest security threat — the national debt.
Young’s answer followed Yoder’s response, in which she said cyber security and a nuclear Iran posed the biggest threats to the U.S.
“The representative had a much more detailed response to the questions and backed them up with specifics,” Boyce said.
Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness said he thought both candidates performed well. He was interested in learning about how the candidates would work with him in solving local problems and attending to local issues.
“I need them to be my ears here and my voice in Washington,” McGuinness said.
He had similar thoughts to Boyce on Young’s performance.
“Congressman Young’s two years of experience in Washington showed through,” McGuinness said. “He was very clear and concise and to the point. He displayed a vast knowledge on the issues.”
Among the crowd of individuals wearing Yoder stickers was Chris Brewer, a senior at Hanover College. As a member of Hanover College Democrats, he first heard of Yoder during the primary season last spring and has since volunteered for her campaign. He said Yoder did a good job of articulating how she’ll lobby for her constituents while in Washington.
John Krull, director of the Pulliam School of Journalism, said Franklin College has hosted debates in the past, and that they’ve included active student participation, just as Tuesday night’s debate did. Besides acting as an education tool for students, the debate served a practical purpose of educating voters, he said.
“As a public service component, this is a vehicle for the voters of the county to get a better look at the people that will now be representing them,” Krull said.
The final debate will be Monday at Corydon Central High School in Corydon, Ind.
WHERE THE CANDIDATES STAND
The role of the federal government in education
YODER: Keep public education a priority by strengthening Federal Pell Grants and Head Start program. Bring teachers to the table on education talks in Washington, D.C.
YOUNG: More money thrown at schools is not the answer. Holding schools accountable for performances is a key, as is parental involvement.
Environmentally friendly energy
YODER: Supports cap and trade and green energy.
YOUNG: Supports investment and basic research in green energy, just not federal government investment in individual companies.
Women pay equality
YODER: Equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender. Economic recovery can be aided by paycheck equality.
YOUNG: Agreed with Yoder and added that more women should be recruited into math and science fields.
YODER: Planned Parenthood is about access to health care for women and is a large issue of democracy. She acknowledged the difficult nature of the topic.
YOUNG: Planned Parenthood provides many beneficial services but unfortunately includes abortions. States should have authority on the matter, not the federal government. He’s pro-life and pro-adoption and believes life begins at conception.
On making change in Washington
YODER: Said she understands she won’t change Washington, D.C., as a freshman representative and that it will be an uphill road. We have to find solutions down the middle to avoid extreme partisanship, a national security issue.
YOUNG: Agreed that there needs to be less partisanship in Washington, D.C. Called for more details on policy issues to avoid playing politics and more exploration of common ground, such as on the topic of tax reform.
Sign in or create your account to add a comment.
Please note that you have to be at least 13 years old to register on IDSnews.com